The extant looksmaxxing information available on the internet is hidden away on obscure internet forums and private groups. This is my attempt to rectify that by providing a basic overview and synthesis of what can be done to improve male looks, organized by body part.
You’ll have much better return by bringing up your weak points rather than trying to make normal-looking features above-average. To start, identify the areas you most need to improve. You can do this by getting a facial assessment from someone like Qoves, or posting on the truerateme subreddit. If you want, you can also send your photos directly to me. Then, read and implement the relevant sections below.
Each section is divided into two: softmaxxing and hardmaxxing. The latter is much more expensive/invasive and should only be considered if you’ve tried all softmaxxing options.
Throughout this guide, I’m going to make reference to your “archetype”. An archetype is a subculture or subtype of attractive guy that you’re going to emulate. In order to do this, think about your ideal type of girl. Then, think about what guy she’s thirsting after on social media. Be that guy.
Most ideal is to actually style yourself look after a celebrity you look like. If you frequently get comments that you look like someone famous, stalk their Instagram and copy their style exactly. This is perhaps the most underrated looksmaxxing technique.
Because there are dozens of potential “hot guy” archetypes, I don’t have space to go into archetype-specific advice here. Here are some examples:
- Hot dad
- Kpop fuckboi
- College jock
- Frat boy
- Tatted gym bro
- Clean-cut suit model
- Jacked shaved head dude
- Dapper black guy
Once you pick your archetype find several guys on social media that are a good representation. How do they talk and act? What style to they wear? What haircut do they have? Do they wear jewelery? Beard or clean-shaven? Try and emulate all of it.
In this guide, I will give generic advice that should generally apply to all of these archetypes, but keep in mind you may want to change it up based on what look you’re going after.
Whatever archetype you choose, each of your looksmaxxing decisions should focus on adding edge. In a society increasingly focused on short-term mating, women make split-second decisions based on not just raw looks, but how much he looks like someone who gets laid.
This means emphasizing features that are alternative, masculine, and showy.
Required reading: Why Edgy (Masculine) Looking Guys Will Always Be More Appealing to Sexually-Active Hot Girls on Good Looking Loser.
Ways to add edge will be discussed throughout the guide, and include, but are not limited to: tattoos, muscles beards, jewelery, alternative fashion, trendy haircuts, earrings, etc.
The less desirable your race, the more you need to add edge, especially if you want to be attractive to white women. If you are brown or Asian, or even black, you want embody a more polarizing archetype.
Essentially, your goal should be to avoid the negative features and stereotypes surrounding your race. For example, brown guys see success with dyed (lighter) hair and colored contacts. Asian guys do well with tattoos, piercings, unique haircuts and edgy clothing.
Tattoos are pretty much essential these days to maximize sex appeal for almost every archetype. You can spring for a permanent solution or fraud with Inkbox (2 weeks) or Ephemeral Tattoo (9-15 months).
There’s a lot that you can do wrong here, and few ways to do it right. The best way to pick which type and location to get is to pick a celebrity that fits your archetype and basically copy their tattoos exactly.
A great physique is the great equalizer. You could do everything else wrong, but as long as you have a great physique, you’re going to slay a lot more than you otherwise would have.
Contrary to popular belief, there’s really not such a thing as “too big”. The bigger you are, the more polarizing you will be and the more you will slay. That being said, if you want universal appeal, your goals should look something like the first two photos here:
The most important body parts for attractiveness are the neck, shoulders, arms, forearms, and traps. Keep in mind that forearms and neck are often neglected by most routines, so make sure to add in extra sets for this. Legs are generally overrated.
If you want to gain muscle as fast as possible, do a bodybuilding routine with anywhere from 75-100 sets per week across all of your body parts. The only thing that matters for muscular growth is “volume”, or total number of hard sets per week. Hard sets mean that you should be training slowly (e.g. not using momentum to “get the weight up”) and training to failure or near-failure. Here is a video example of what it looks like to truly train slowly and eliminate momentum.
There’s no need for a massive caloric surplus for muscle growth (you may have heard references to “dirty bulking”, this is a waste of time and you will get fat). Aim for 150-250 calories of surplus per day for optimal gains without fat gain.
The ideal bodyfat percentage is around 10%, though it’s very hard to maintain this level year-round. 12-14% is also fine. Most guys will find that their face leans out below 15%, which is a very underrated way to increase facial attractiveness. If you’re greater than 15% bodyfat, start by eating at a deficit (while you continue to lift weights) until you reach 15%. You can still gain muscle in a caloric deficit.
Most guys have average genetics and will reach their Pareto genetic limit within 2-3 years of training, after which they will see greatly diminishing returns.
Steroids should only be considered if you have been lifting for this long and are very confident you can go balls to the wall in the gym to take advantage of any testosterone cycle you may run. If you have any doubts about this, don’t do them.
If you’d like to take the plunge, the r/steroids wiki has all the other information you need to know.
Grooming your body hair will increase muscle definition and make you look more attractive. The Philips Norelco Bodygroom works great for this.
Trim your nose hair using grooming scissors, your razor (push your nose up with your finger to expose the hair), or buy a nose hair trimmer.
Cut your finger and toenails at least weekly with finger- and toenail clippers.
6’2″ is the ideal height for most Western countries, though you can reasonably get away with anything down to 5’8″ and still be considered widely attractive.
If you’re below this height, shoe lift inserts or elevator shoes are a fairly inexpensive and effective alternative to boost your height up to three inches. The most common hesitation I hear from guys is “What happens when you take your shoes off?” but the truth is that the vast majority of women aren’t going to notice a thing.
Limb lengthening surgery is super expensive and super painful, but it exists: http://limblengtheningforum.com
Hairstyle is something that’s pretty dependent on archetype. In general, you want to look at photos of attractive guys in your archetype, then take those photos to a salon and get a professional haircut. Don’t skimp, paying $40-$50 every couple months is totally worth it.
If you’re losing your hair, the easiest, worry-free option is to shave it and become the “jacked bald dude” archetype. If you do this, you will become polarizing — attractive to some types of women, but invisible to others. But trust me from personal experience, being attractive to a smaller portion of women is much better than being “meh” to everyone.
If you don’t want to shave it, there are ways to save your hair. The traditional big 3 are finasteride (Propecia), minoxidil (Rogaine), and ketoconazole (nizoral shampoo). In the last five years or so, microneedling has also been proven to be good enough to turn the big 3 into the big 4. Of the methods mentioned, only finasteride has potential side effects, but don’t worry: they’re rare and can be overturned if you stop taking it. The HairLossTalk forums have much more detailed information.
If the above aren’t working for you, hardmaxxing options include, from least to most invasive:
- Scalp micropigmentation: an artist uses a tattoo needle and ink to paint thousands of tiny dots on your hair, giving it the illusion of density. This sounds like it might look terrible, but the illusion is quite impressive. Guys who have gotten it report that none of even the people they’re close to can tell. Costs $2500-$4500 and must be topped up every 5+ years. See https://www.reddit.com/r/SMPchat for more information.
- Hair system: basically new-age wigs, but stigma aside, the technology is quite good these days. You go for a professional grooming and fitting and they adhere mesh to your head, making it long-lasting and basically indetectable.
- Hair transplant: Follicular Unit Extraction is the recommended procedure as it’s less invasive (though more costly). Turkey is supposedly a good place to go for this.
The most important thing to do for your skin is to avoid sun exposure, and this should be done starting as early in your life as possible. Wear a hat when you’re outside, and wear at least 30SPF, but preferably 60SPF sunscreen at all times.
Other than that, you should have a simple skincare routine:
- Cleanser, 1x/day
- Exfoliant (physical or chemical), 1x/day
- Retinol (tretinoin), 3x/week to 1x/day
- Moisturizer 1x/day
Don’t use tanning beds or lay in the sun to tan. If you’re white and want color, eat at least one carrot a day, or take beta-carotene.
Botox is inexpensive, barely counts as “plastic surgery”, and gets a worse rap than it should (no, it doesn’t give you some weird plastic surgery look). It can be used to either eliminate wrinkles, or freeze your skin to stop you from folding it and making them worse. Go to a plastic surgeon, not a MedSpa. Good Looking Loser has a good writeup.
Melanotan 2 is an injectable peptide that, combined with a bit of indoor or outdoor sun exposure, can make you significantly more tan if you’re white, even if you don’t naturally tan in the sun. This is a great alternative to frequent tanning as it gets you many times the results, while limiting your skin degradation and cancer risk. Derek from More Plates More Dates has a detailed writeup.
The ideal male forehead isn’t too big (e.g. not a fivehead), has clear, smooth skin with few or no visible wrinkles, and a prominent brow ridge.
If you have wrinkles, start treating them with retinol as soon as you can to reduce their depth/appearance.
Brow lift to correct a drooping browline.
Botox, cold therapy, hyaluronic acid fillers, and laser skin resurfacing to reduce forehead wrinkling.
Brow bone augmentation (super rare/expensive).
Eyebrows should be dark, thick, bushy, and straight.
This video guide from Alpha M explains how to groom eyebrows.
If you have light eyebrows, you can color them in with an eyebrow pencil or dye them with Just for Men hair dye. This is key, as it will help add contrast to your face.
Eyelashes should be as long and as dark as possible, within reason.
Castor oil and Latisse can be used to grow eyelashes.
Blue eyes and other light eye colors are considered the most attractive. You can use colored contact lenses to achieve this look.
Dark undereye circles can be fixed in a number of different ways, see this Qoves video for more.
If you have glasses, get contact lenses or LASIK.
You can also get orbital implants or fat injections to fraud deep-set eyes.
If you have bulging eyes, you can get orbital decompression surgery to set them deeper. This can cost $5-10K depending on where you live.
Though the nose is focused on quite a bit, it’s actually a rather unimportant feature in terms of facial aesthetics compared to other parts of the face. Many people who think they need to change their nose would actually do better to get other types of facial surgery to bring their features in harmony.
The only real way to fix a nose is through a rhinoplasty, which is a catch-all term for various types of nose plastic surgery.
Prominent cheekbones are a significant beauty halo. Getting down to 12% bodyfat will often expose them.
Cheekbone implants are an option for augmenting the malars, or the front of the cheekbones. This procedure does not always produce great results as the implants are often too subtle to really make a difference, or create an unnatural curve.
Cheekbone fillers are a less expensive, if impermanent option.
A balance is best. Not too thin, not too thick. A prominent Cupid’s Bow is ideal. There’s not much you can do for lips as a male, but if you have thin lips you can try to balance them out by growing some mustache stubble.
Teeth should be as straight and white as possible. Avoid coffee and whiten at least once a year with teeth whitening strips.
For everything else, consult your local dental professional.
Jaw and Chin
A large, heavily developed mandible is an important feature of masculine faces. Heavily developed mandibles are broad and include projecting chins and long ramuses.
Most men can reveal their jawline simply by dieting to <12% bodyfat.
Mewing has some anecdotal evidence behind it, especially the younger you are.
If you have a weak jawline, you can grow a beard and even shape it like a jawline. Minoxidil can help in improving beard density, check out /r/Minoxbeards.
Make sure to groom your beard regularly:
If you can’t grow much of a beard, even some stubble is preferred over a clean-shaven look, as it can make you appear more masculine.
If you still find you lack a strong jaw even at low bodyfat levels, jaw and chin implants exist.
Exogenous testosterone has been known to create more masculine-looking jaws.
Ears don’t matter that much as long as they aren’t protruding. If they are, you can get ear pinning surgery, or otoplasty.
Neck muscularity is a highly underrated part of overall attractiveness.
Contrary to popular belief, penis enhancement (e.g. penis pumps, stretching, and jelqing) actually does work. Just like in the gym, with consistency and dedication, you can make gains in length, girth, and erectile quality.
Should this be in a looksmaxxing guide? Why not. This reddit guide to cologne is decent. Don’t buy the full bottle, just get samples on eBay, which should cost you $9-$15.